How SWEENEY TODD Led to Angela Lansbury & Stephen Sondheim's GLASS ONION Cameos

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is now streaming on Netflix.

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While Broadway alums Leslie Odom Jr. and Daniel Craig may be the stars of Glass Onion, Rian Johnson's new followup film to Knives Out, the film also features appearances by two of Broadway's biggest icons: Stephen Sondheim and Angela Lansbury.

In a New York Times feature, Johnson discussed working with Sondheim and Lansbury on their appearances in the film, in which they are playing the popular internet game "Among Us" on Zoom with detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) during the pandemic.

Johnson had been a long-time fan of Sondheim's work, even having Blanc sing a few lines of "Losing My Mind" from Follies in the first Knives Out film. His love of Sondheim's work introduced him to Lansbury's performance as Mrs. Lovett in the filmed capture of Sweeney Todd.

"Murder She Wrote," the popular murder msytery sitcom that Lansbury starred in in the 1980s also formed Johnson's love of murder mysteries. An episode of the series can also be seen playing on a television in the original Knives Out film.

Ram Bergman, Johnson's producing partner, revealed that their cameos were filmed during the editing period of Glass Onion after they had tried every connection they had to reach Sondheim.

While on a phone call with their agent, they told him that they were trying to track Sondheim down for the cameo. Fives minutes later, they learned that Sondheim agreed.

While recording with Sondheim on Zoom, it had also come up that they wanted Lansbury to make an appearance, to which Sondheim responded: "Oh, Angie - I'm friends with her. Tell her I'm doing it. She'll do it."

Johnson went on to explain that Lansbury "couldn't have been lovelier and more generous," although she was "not a gamer."

"She was very patient in letting me describe the rules of Among Us, up to a point. At which point she just said, 'You know what? Just tell me what the lines are. I'll trust you,'" Johnson said.

Johnson went on to describe how much their cameos meant to him, sharing how important and formative their work was to his career.

"I allowed myself to have that little awkward moment of saying to them what I'm sure every person who meets them says," he said. "But still, it felt really nice to tell them that I wouldn't be here doing this if it weren't for them."

Johnson also looked back on the cameo being both of the legends' final film appearances, stating: "It's sad, because as a fan, I wish they were still around and making stuff. I hope they would have enjoyed the little scene and gotten a laugh out of it."

In Glass Onion, Benoit Blanc returns to peel back the layers in a new Rian Johnson whodunit. This fresh adventure finds the intrepid detective at a lavish private estate on a Greek island, but how and why he comes to be there is only the first of many puzzles.

Blanc soon meets a distinctly disparate group of friends gathering at the invitation of billionaire Miles Bron for their yearly reunion. As in all the best murder mysteries, each character harbors their own secrets, lies and motivations. When someone turns up dead, everyone is a suspect.

Returning to the franchise he began, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Rian Johnson writes and directs Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and assembles another all-star cast that includes a returning Daniel Craig alongside Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline with Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista.

Watch the trailer for Glass Onion here:




How SWEENEY TODD Led to Lansbury & Sondheim's GLASS ONION Cameos

While Broadway alums Leslie Odom Jr. and Daniel Craig may be the stars of Glass Onion, the followup to Knives Out, the film also features appearances by two of Broadway's biggest icons: Stephen Sondheim and Angela Lansbury. Read how Rian Johnson's love of Sweeney Todd led to their cameos and what it was like working on their final film appearances!

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